Auditions

October 2019
A Pair of Classic Comedies

We are presenting a double bill of two one-act comedies each by a master playwrights.

As usual we are holding open auditions  (see here for details).


Joining The Bear, our second play has now been confirmed as “Fumed Oak” by Noël Coward – more details below!


Fumed Oak

An “unpleasant comedy in two scenes” by Noël Coward

This suburban story of a lower middle-class family in Clapham concerns the unhappy lives of salesman Henry Gow, his wife Doris, their daughter Else and Doris’s mother Mrs Rocket.
Who is the most horrible?

The play is being directed by Izi Gaff and her father Robin.

Fumed Oak – Audition Dates

  • Some people were able to read for Fumed Oak after the auditions for The Bear, but as we had not then publicised Fumed Oak there will be further open auditions to give everyone a fair chance.
  • These will be at the White Harte meeting room at 7:30pm on
    • Wednesday 26th June
    • Friday 28th June

Fumed Oak – Characters

          (With playing ages as a guide)

  • Henry Gow – A downtrodden middle-aged salesman – 40-45 
  • Doris Gow – his petuant and acrimonious wife – 35 – 40
  • Elsie Gow – their whining and “adenoidal” daughter, a brat! – 14
  • Mrs Rocket – Dorrie’s widowed mother, often finding-fault or complaining – 60+

Fumed Oak – An Overview

In scene one Henry Gow sits silently as his grumbling mother-in-law, his snappish wife and his whining daughter bicker over breakfast; in the second, he announces that he has changed his name and bought a boat ticket, and, leaving them the house and a barrage of insults he has been saving for over ten years, goes out of the front door with glee.

In the mid 1930s, at the height of his creative powers, Coward embarked on a project to revive the one-act play. Fumed Oak  is one of a a cycle of  10 one-act plays produced under the title “Tonight at 8.30“.

In his introduction to the published collection of the plays, Coward wrote, “A short play, having a great advantage over a long one in that it can sustain a mood without technical creaking or over padding, deserves a better fate, and if, by careful writing, acting and producing I can do a little towards reinstating it in its rightful pride, I shall have achieved one of my more sentimental ambitions”.


The Bear

A comedy by Anton Chekhov

Auditions for The Bear have been held
  • The Bear co-directors: Simon Perkins & Hazelle Woodhurst are considering the casting which will be announced soon.
  • But we are still seeking somone to  play Luka – the (fairly) elderly servantanyone from 30 upwards!

The Bear – Characters

  • Popova – Romantic, sentimental, a young widow, in mourning for her late husband.
    • 20’s to late 30’s/ early 40’s
  • Smirnov – Brutish, (Bear-like) landowner, who has come to collect on a debt.
    • Late 30’s – late 40’s/early 50’s
  • Luka – Manservant to Popova. Gentle but with excellent comic timing.
    • from early 30’s – Late 60’s/early 70’s UPDATED

The Bear: An Overview

The Bear (or sometimes The Boor) is one of Anton Chekhov’s lesser-known plays, but it is is an excellent representative of a “Farce in One-Act”.

Fast-paced and with biting dialogue, its comedy involves exaggerated emotions that quickly turn into their opposites. Popova fancies herself inconsolably bereaved, while Smirnov considers himself a man’s man.  But could it be that they start to develop feelings for each other?

A Synopsis of “The Bear”

The action begins at Yelena Ivanovna Popova’s house, as she is seen looking at a photograph of her late husband. Her manservant, Luka, tries to comfort her and encourage her to finally leave the house, a year after her husband’s death. Popova stubbornly refuses, citing the pretext that she must remain forever faithful to her husband—as he had never been to her.

A bell rings and Gregory Stepanovich Smirnov enters the scene, claiming that he has come on urgent business and asks Popova to return the money owed to him by her late husband. As she does not have money at the house and is not in the “mood” to deal with financial matters, she tells him to return the day after tomorrow.

Angered by her casual response, Smirnov refuses to leave until she repays the debt. They engage in a series of passionate arguments: Smirnov accuses women of dishonesty and of making false claims to equality, while Popova makes the argument personal, by calling Smirnov a “bear” for his boorish manners.  Smirnov exclaims that if Popova, as a feminist, really wants equality, he will give it to her—in the form of a duel!   He soon realises though much to his frustration, that he is beginning to have feelings for this fiery creature…


Written, published, and performed in 1888, Chekhov’s play reflects on and pokes fun at liberal discourses in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Russia. With its fast-paced, biting dialogue, comedy and exaggerated emotions that quickly turn into their opposites, this three-character drama is both gripping and funny!


UPDATE:  The Monkey’s Paw

  • We had intended to present The Monkey’s Paw, a classic supernatural suspense story but decided that the pair of classic comedies above would do better in the darkening months of late autumn!

About CDS Auditions

CDS is always keen to involve new people both on and off stage.

We are keen to mix up and borrow (or loan!) people with other groups (in our experience this happens anyway) as this enhances productions and skills.  So if you are an established or aspiring actor, or director and want to work with us please get in touch or come meet us at a club night.

All CDS production auditions are open to all (time permitting!), with the director’s choice of casting based on factors including (in no particular order) talent, suitability for the role, suitability alongside other actors, use of new faces, experience and availability.

While we actively avoid using the same old faces from a small clique of insiders, there are lots of opportunities, but we also expect members to get and stay involved in supporting roles both off and on stage.

  • Our annual Feb Frols show has a format and tradition which actively encourages people to try out or develop their directing and acting with support from  more experienced members.

For Other Local Auditions

We also list some other nearby auditions here

If you are get in touch with anyone please tell them you found them CDS!   Cooperative marketing is free and powerful!

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October Performance Dates

  • First show is on Tuesday 29th or Wednesday 30th October (TBC)
  • The last show will be on Friday 1st November 2019
    • As usual this is half term week, but there will be no Saturday Show  because of clashes with Fireworks and Halloween Parties, and the Veteran Car Run that weekend!

  • Producer for both plays will be Paul Davey

Fumed Oak

An “unpleasant comedy in two scenes” by Noël Coward

This suburban story of a lower middle-class family in Clapham concerns the unhappy lives of salesman Henry Gow, his wife Doris, their daughter Else and Doris’s mother Mrs Rocket.

The play is being directed by Izi Gaff and her father Robin.

Fumed Oak – Characters

          (With playing ages as a guide)

  • Henry Gow – A downtrodden middle-aged salesman – 40-45 
  • Doris Gow – his petuant and acrimonious wife – 35 – 40
  • Elsie Gow – their whining and “adenoidal” daughter, a brat! – 14
  • Mrs Rocket – Dorrie’s widowed mother, often finding-fault or complaining – 60+

Fumed Oak – An Overview

In scene one Henry Gow sits silently as his grumbling mother-in-law, his snappish wife and his whining daughter bicker over breakfast; in the second, he announces that he has changed his name and bought a boat ticket, and, leaving them the house and a barrage of insults he has been saving for over ten years, goes out of the front door with glee.

In the mid 1930s, at the height of his creative powers, Coward embarked on a project to revive the one-act play. Fumed Oak  is one of a a cycle of  10 one-act plays produced under the title “Tonight at 8.30“.

In his introduction to the published collection of the plays, Coward wrote, “A short play, having a great advantage over a long one in that it can sustain a mood without technical creaking or over padding, deserves a better fate, and if, by careful writing, acting and producing I can do a little towards reinstating it in its rightful pride, I shall have achieved one of my more sentimental ambitions”.

 

The Bear

A comedy by Anton Chekhov


Auditions for The Bear have been held
  • They are still seeking somone to  play Luka – the fairly elderly servant.

The Bear – Characters

  • Popova – Romantic, sentimental, a young widow, in mourning for her late husband.
    • 20’s to late 30’s/ early 40’s
  • Smirnov – Brutish, (Bear-like) landowner, who has come to collect on a debt.
    • Late 30’s – late 40’s/early 50’s
  • Luka – Manservant to Popova. Gentle but with excellent comic timing.
    • Late 50’s –60’s/early 70’s

The Bear: An Overview

The Bear (or sometimes The Boor) is one of Anton Chekhov’s lesser-known plays, but it is is an excellent representative of a “Farce in One-Act”.

Fast-paced and with biting dialogue, its comedy involves exaggerated emotions that quickly turn into their opposites. Popova fancies herself inconsolably bereaved, while Smirnov considers himself a man’s man.  But could it be that they start to develop feelings for each other?

A Synopsis of “The Bear”

The action begins at Yelena Ivanovna Popova’s house, as she is seen looking at a photograph of her late husband. Her manservant, Luka, tries to comfort her and encourage her to finally leave the house, a year after her husband’s death. Popova stubbornly refuses, citing the pretext that she must remain forever faithful to her husband—as he had never been to her.

A bell rings and Gregory Stepanovich Smirnov enters the scene, claiming that he has come on urgent business and asks Popova to return the money owed to him by her late husband. As she does not have money at the house and is not in the “mood” to deal with financial matters, she tells him to return the day after tomorrow.

Angered by her casual response, Smirnov refuses to leave until she repays the debt. They engage in a series of passionate arguments: Smirnov accuses women of dishonesty and of making false claims to equality, while Popova makes the argument personal, by calling Smirnov a “bear” for his boorish manners.  Smirnov exclaims that if Popova, as a feminist, really wants equality, he will give it to her—in the form of a duel!   He soon realises though much to his frustration, that he is beginning to have feelings for this fiery creature…


Written, published, and performed in 1888, Chekhov’s play reflects on and pokes fun at liberal discourses in mid- to late-nineteenth-century Russia. With its fast-paced, biting dialogue, comedy and exaggerated emotions that quickly turn into their opposites, this three-character drama is both gripping and funny!

 


UPDATE:  The Monkey’s Paw

  • We had intended to present The Monkey’s Paw, a classic supernatural suspense story but decided that the pair of classic comedies above would do better in the darkening months of late autumn!

About CDS Auditions

CDS is always keen to involve new people both on and off stage.

We are keen to mix up and borrow (or loan!) people with other groups (in our experience this happens anyway) as this enhances productions and skills.  So if you are an established or aspiring actor, or director and want to work with us please get in touch or come meet us at a club night.

All CDS production auditions are open to all (time permitting!), with the director’s choice of casting based on factors including (in no particular order) talent, suitability for the role, suitability alongside other actors, use of new faces, experience and availability.

While we actively avoid using the same old faces from a small clique of insiders, there are lots of opportunities, but we also expect members to get and stay involved in supporting roles both off and on stage.

  • Our annual Feb Frols show has a format and tradition which actively encourages people to try out or develop their directing and acting with support from  more experienced members.


For Other Local Auditions

We also list some other nearby auditions here

If you are get in touch with anyone please tell them you found them CDS!   Cooperative marketing is free and powerful!

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